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Ethan Imboden

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We've Come a Long Way, Barbara

Posted: 03/24/09 06:10 PM ET

It's 2009, and we're living in a changed world. I'm not talking about recessions, bailouts, the yawning abyss that is the stock market, I'm talking about Barbara Walters, Sherri Shepherd, Joy Behar and Elisabeth Hasselbeck recommending vibrators on The View.

In case you missed the back and forth, it started with a vibrator joke (and accompanying joyful jig) from Barbara on Monday, followed by disapproving commentary from Mika Brzezinski on Morning Joe today, with an immediate and unanimous response from all of the hosts of The View on their broadcast later this morning.

A reasonable stance on all this might be summarized thusly: "Who cares?"

But we live in a strange world where this is a momentous occasion and accordingly, the blogosphere is all a-Twitter. There seems to be as much interest in The View's proposed vibrator bailout for Mika as there is in the ongoing fiscal black hole that is AIG.

And I care, and here's why: After years of dedication to Jimmyjane, I'm still astonished by the media's hesitation to touch the subject matter of sexuality and, yes, vibrators. It's fascinating to observe that everyone is so worried about what everyone else will think, particularly given that everybody's thinking the same thing - vibrators are a-ok, and there's nothing wrong with enjoying a little sex every now and then.

Here's some more breaking news for you (spoiler alert): Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Lucky Charms Leprechaun and the Tooth Fairy don't exist. Oh, and one more thing - we aren't air-freighted to our parents by storks. We're all here because someone somewhere had sex.

Allow me to provide a reassuring report from the front lines of the booming Sexual Wellbeing market - you aren't alone. Everybody does it differently, but trust me, everybody's "doing it."

Barbara Walters was the first female co-anchor of network evening news. She'll be 80 this year, and her monumental career includes interviews of Yeltsin, Jiang Zemin, Thatcher, Qaddafi, Indira Gandhi, Chavez and, of course, Obama. She's a straight shooter, and after all these years in the service of the news industry, you'd think she's earned the right to call a spade a spade - or a vibrator a vibrator, for that matter.

Tina Brown was a guest on Morning Joe when Mika expressed her dismay, and I applaud her for interjecting, "Barbara Walters is allowed." I'll take that a step further and posit that, in fact, we're all allowed.

Sherri Shepard's suggestion that the women of The View should send Mika a vibrator is a good one. Imagine my delight when Elisabeth Hasselbeck proposed that it be accompanied by a note reading, "To Mika, love Barbara. Just a Little Something..."

When that happens, we'll really know it's a changed world.

 

Follow Ethan Imboden on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Jimmyjane